In my Etsy shop
Women have always largely been excluded from the History of Art books, except when they are represented by the male gaze, as nudes. There have always been women artists, but they have been excluded because the notion of genius was and is a patriarchal concept. Societal constructs and biology have often shut women out from the grander forms of creativity, due to procreation, the division of labour, etc. Women were not always busy having babies, but were simply left out of the conversation regarding art. Often spouses of male of well known male artists got a look in; for example Sonia Delaunay, Lee Krasner, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe. They were given a certain amount of attention due to their connections, exceptional tenacity, pure brilliance and persistence, in spite of a degree of hostility.
Even as recently as the 80’s I was told by a male art tutor that ‘women are always painting ‘centralised vaginal imagery.’ As if that were a bad thing. Looking back I am still perplexed by what he meant. I wish I had questioned him more.
Nowadays, women are shouting louder to be heard, and the paradigm is shifting. We are reclaiming the womb as something deliberately to be represented within an image. We talk about birthing ideas and artistry. The rebirth of painting and the return of the Sacred Feminine, the recounting of His-tory are being reevaluated. This new empowerment is being carried by women to embolden their visions, both artistically and politically. The old paradigms of male supremacy in all fields are being questioned. We have only just begun. This empowers men too, especially creative and empathetic men. We are together birthing a new paradigm.
All images are my copyright. Do not use without permission or payment.
The original is in my Etsy shop.
A painting on canvas. I made this painting in response to the beautiful piece of music by Bill Evans.
Sometimes I weep
For a love I once had
Or a kindness from my dear one
For the love of my children
The look in his eye
His closed sweet smile
Her beautiful voice
The sound of jazz piano, by Bill Evans,
or played by my mother.
Born from the belly of a pianist, it was the first sound I ever heard.
No wonder I love it so.
Then the sound of the accordion played rousingly
Like my father in his folk days.
He used to listen to recordings of steam trains.
We laughed, but he didn’t mind. Daddy, my daddy.
Looking back on happy memories
Of a London Summer in Camberwell
Followed by two more. Complete joy
We listened to soul music, Prince, Stevie Wonder
and lay in bed doing dance moves with our hands
Laughing til we cried
and loving til we slept.
We used to say ‘I’ll miss you when I’m asleep.’
We slept so deeply.
We slept through the hurricane of ’87
and awoke to post-apocalyptic Brixton
Trees lying across Coldharbour Lane
Windows and roofs smashed
We loved each other so much
But he went to India,
and I to France.
Funny how, we have never seen each other since
He returned from India and turned to religion
And I, resolutely to America
L.A. memories are bathed in bright light.
I worked hard, played hard,
married, left and ran away
Onto the beach
He destroyed all his paintings once
And shredded his books
I hope he’s alright now.
He was a child of Hollywood and Vietnam
And all the damage fallout.
Sometimes I remember
Inspired by a Dutch master but my interpretation, painted many years ago.
And a quote by the wonderful Toko-Pa:
“For all the times someone has asked you how you are, and you felt pressured to say ‘I am well’ when well wasn’t your whole truth, I offer you this wish: that this finds you not just well, but all the things that being human asks of us. And to remind you that your being alive, in all its magnificent and complicated colors, is more than enough for love. Rather than endlessly seeking to get well, or yearning for ‘how things used to be’ or ‘may be one day again,’ we must be willing to walk with our pain. Or at least be willing to be willing to say, “This too is welcome. This too belongs.”
by Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home (belongingbook.com)
All art works on this blog are my copyright and cannot be used without my permission or payment.
“Oh Great God, swift one. Who comes to him who calls. Watch my sister for me, the woman born in the same womb as me. Do for her as I have done for you. Spontaneous miracles that cannot be denied. Elevate her children and make them prosper, even as you did for me.”
-From Taharqa’s prayer to Amun, at his temple in Kawa-
Link below is a wonderful illustrated site about the Kingdom of Kush, or ancient Nubia.
All works on this blog are my copyright and cannot be used without my permission or payment.
This painting ‘Nubian Queen’ is available in my Etsy shop:
When I was a child, I used to have a recurring dream, wherein I was in a huge house, an old stone building and there was a secret door that only I knew about. I would enter the door and a whole new space opened up to me, and it was mine alone. There was something so enchanting, mysterious and secret about this labyrinthine special space, with doors and rooms and corridors where i could explore or escape from everyone and just hide.
Well today, I found a place like this, decades later. I am teaching English part-time in an independent school. In an ancient abbey. Sometimes all the classrooms are being used and today was one of those days, and I had to ask my line manager where I could take my two Chinese students. It’s the end of half term and i had brought in one of my favourite films, Paris Texas, for them to watch on my laptop as a treat. She suggested I used this old classroom in the eaves. She found the keys and led me up through a network of stairwells and doors to the old classroom. I loved it. Now used as a dumping ground for piles of pillows used by the female boarders; there were old telephones, folders, pots of pens, rickety chairs and tables. It was perfect. I found my classroom and a secret place very similar to my childhood dreams.
There is so much more to this ancient abbey.
There is something about me that needs to hide and retreat frequently. It feels sensual and exciting. I couldn’t resist taking a few photos of the secret classroom.
Autumn. An original painting in my etsy shop. All works are my copyright.
All works are my copyright.